March 25, 2021
Welcome to the March 2021 issue of Conservation Pulse. From supporting school students in a Central African village to global efforts to halt ocean plastic pollution, find out about the progress we’re making to help people and nature thrive – and how you can get involved.
March 25, 2021
As people around the world came together on 3rd March to mark World Wildlife Day, WWF’s iconic panda disappeared from our logo for the first time in 60 years to highlight how empty and uninspiring a world without nature would be.
Around the globe, hundreds of brands – from sports teams to NGOs – showed their support for our #WorldWithoutNature campaign by also removing nature from their logo. The campaign, which reached out to hundreds of millions of people around the world, highlighted the catastrophic crisis of nature loss facing our planet. Did you know, for example, that wildlife populations have dropped by an average of 68% in less than 50 years? It's not too late to speak up for our planet's amazing nature, which we all depend on. Wherever you live in the world, this issue matters – and your voice can make a difference.
March 24, 2021
WWF welcomes the commitment from the governments of Ecuador, Germany and Ghana to champion the development of a global treaty to stop ocean plastic pollution.
A staggering 11 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year, both killing thousands of creatures – including endangered Hawaiian monk seals and Pacific loggerhead sea turtles – and contaminating our food chains, water and air. Unless urgent global action is taken, plastic pollution is set to double by 2030. The three governments have agreed to organize a global ministerial conference on plastic pollution later this year, an important opportunity to make progress. A global treaty has already received the backing of about 70 governments, 50 businesses and more than 2 million people. And you too can join the calls for the global action we so desperately need.
March 23, 2021
Around the world, river dolphins and porpoises are in big trouble. The Yangtze River dolphin is already extinct. And all five remaining species, ranging across Asia and South America, face extinction because of threats such as pollution, dams and fishing bycatch.
We came up with an ambitious river dolphin initiative, launched in 2019, to reverse their decline. And we are now delighted to see China boosting protection for the Yangtze finless porpoise, upgrading the species to the country’s highest protection level. We’ve been championing its protection for almost 20 years, working with the Chinese authorities to establish conservation areas, increase capacity for conservation on the ground, and build public awareness and involvement. And we are now developing a new plan to double their numbers in key areas of the Yangtze River in the coming decade. Alongside increased protection for the porpoise, the Chinese government announced increased protection for another 64 species – further positive news for the country’s wildlife.
March 21, 2021
Collisions with large ships are the number one threat to the fragile sperm whale population of just 200 in the Hellenic Trench (part of the eastern Mediterranean Sea) – responsible for as much as half of deaths of stranded whales. So we welcome the new official notice issued by the Greek navy, the direct outcome of longstanding efforts by WWF and partners, which warns mariners to look out for marine mammals and avoid a collision when travelling through the whales’ key habitat.
This is the first official step by Greece to protect marine mammals in this area. Studies show that minor changes to shipping traffic, such as avoiding hotspot areas and reducing speed, are simple low-cost solutions that can largely halt collisions. Working alongside our partners, we engage with the national authorities, the shipping sector and scientists in Greece and other areas to help find solutions that protect Mediterranean whales.
March 20, 2021
Until recently, the young people of Dia, a village on the edge of the Messok Dja forest in the Republic of Congo, could not go to school due to lack of teachers and teaching materials. But they are now able to access an education again after WWF and partners helped arrange for a new school building, as well as education kits for students from Dia and surrounding villages. Alfred Mengongo, the village secretary, said: “Our children’s daily life was limited to work in the fields; today, with this school, we can say that their future will no longer be mortgaged.”
Messok Dja forest is home to indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as being an important habitat for endangered forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees. Unfortunately, all their futures are under threat due to activities such as logging, mining and poaching. We seek a thriving future for both people and nature – so our work with local communities includes backing their efforts to get a meaningful say in the future of their forest, supporting initiatives to use natural resources sustainably, and helping them access vital essential servicess such as education and healthcare.
March 19, 2021
Freshwater fish must not be forgotten: The world’s dazzlingly diverse freshwater fish are critical for the health, food security and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, but they are under ever increasing threat with one in three already threatened with extinction. A new report from WWF and others warns against the continued undervaluing and overlooking of these species.
Jaguar conservation action needed: sleek and powerful, the iconic jaguar is the largest cat to roam the Americas. But, sadly, it’s facing a variety of threats. Back in 2018, we joined with other NGOs and governments to launch the Jaguar 2030 Roadmap, a bold plan that aims to secure 30 important landscapes across the jaguar corridor from Mexico to Argentina, by 2030. Our new campaign, The Jaguar King, already supported by over 150,000 people, calls on political leaders to convert commitments into action and advance the implementation of the Roadmap.
Dangers of deep seabed mining highlighted: a new report from WWF shows that plans to mine the deep seabed for metals and minerals would have destructive impacts on both oceanic wildlife and natural systems. We are calling for a global moratorium on deep seabed mining, and for alternative solutions that don’t involve harming this sensitive environment.